A brand new cabinet role on the city council has been created to drive forward the Labour group’s vision for the Preston Model.
Coun Freddie Bailey was announced as cabinet member for Community Wealth Building at the first full council meeting at Town Hall today.
Introducing new members of the cabinet Coun Matthew Brown, who was re-selected as leader of the city authority, said: “This will be a year where we try and deepen what we have already achieved.
“The team around me is very much a talented and diverse range of people.”
The Labour group had spelt out its proposals for a creating North West community bank at it’s latest budget.
The party also outlined plans to pour more funds into the Preston Model.
Coun Brown says that ramping up the initiative means dedicating more time and energy to the project.
He said: "This is an exciting team, a forward-thinking team.
“We have got a set of ideas we strongly believe in. We believe its quite transformative. The idea behind it is to lift people up.
“We have got challenges in this city and we have got the courage to try something new.”
But there were concerns expressed that the funds could have been better used elsewhere.
Deputy leader of the Lib Dem group Coun Neil Darby said: “We do have concerns about increasing the number of cabinet members.
“It’s the financial commitment. We have concerns that the money could be spent in better areas.”
Defending his move to create the new position Coun Brown said: “We don’t have the chance to meet what we need and won’t without the extra cabinet member if we want to bring the Preston Model and community bank to scale.”